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Showing posts from 2016

the trumpenproletariat

Yeah, it's rich coming from the national review, but that line about the trumpenproletariat liking him because he makes them feel good (like Oxycontin) has a lot of truth in it. You know this if you've ever met a core Trumpite.* If you work in a factory, or on a farm, or live outside the city, they're hard to avoid. And the core can't shut up about him. Yes, our ideology is ultimately informed by our material situation, but the trumpenproletariat are not giving us a decent critique of NAFTA. They've largely worked out that Trump is completely talking shit when he says he'll "bring the jobs back," like he's some sort of economic necromancer. It's building a wall that gives them a little poke in their pants. "Make the country great again" mostly means you don't wait but five minutes before you send the tanks in for people blocking a pipeline. Of course we still have our brutal crackdowns and state murders, streaming live, but e…

The Pipeline Protests

Despite being one of the country's top producers of oil, there are only a couple refineries in North Dakota. One, which was built to take Bakken high sulfur sour crude and turn it into diesel to be sold directly to local farmers, was recently sold at a loss. There were plans for more, one near where I grew up in Devils Lake, one proposed on the Fort Berthold Reservation that likely won't be built for a bunch of dramatic reasons, as well as others. 

With most of it not heading directly to market, North Dakota oil needs to be shipped to be refined. This means sending it to huge refineries in places like Texas and Oklahoma. Most of it goes by rail. This was a huge problem for other rail traffic (primarily agriculture) during the oil boom. While it was a problem, and a pipeline was brought up then, profitability was high enough to deal with the rail congestion. Now, with the needing to be heavily refined nasty ND oil barely worth anything, the pipeline is seen as the most cost effe…